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NOTE: This page has been replaced by an updated Wine Bookshelf, www.wineloverspage.com/winebook/quickbooks.phtml. I suggest you click to this newer feature now. The book reviews and links below are still valid, but some of them may be outdated or may refer to older editions of books with more recent revisions.

Amazon.com Books
A feature of Robin Garr's Wine Lovers' Page,
in association with Amazon.com Books

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This is the Wine Bookshelf book store of Robin Garr's Wine Lovers' Page, operating in association with Amazon.com Books. Thanks for looking in!

As a longtime wine journalist with a reputation for independence, I've chosen to link with Amazon.com because I believe it enjoys a well-earned reputation for honesty and good service that I can support. Under terms of my agreement with Amazon.com, I will objectively review selected books about wine and wine appreciation, dispensing both praise and criticism as I see fit. Hotlinks from each review will go directly to Amazon.com for handling.

Most books are sold at 20 to 30 percent discounts from the publisher's price, and all are sold with the Amazon.com money-back guarantee; you also have my personal guarantee that I'll go to bat for you in the very unlikely event of any dispute. Payment may be handled by credit card (click here for details about online shopping security) or by telephone. Books are all shipped Priority Mail.

I'll add reviews often, so please check in regularly. I hope Amazon's reputation, and mine, will make this page the first place you look to discover, and purchase, good books about wine.

Review Index

Featured Listings!

  • Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2001
  • Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine 1999

    Introductions to Wine

  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine
  • The Essential Wine Book: An Indispensable Guide to the World of Wines
  • Fear of Wine: An Introductory Guide to the Grape
  • Jancis Robinson's Wine Course
  • Making Sense of Wine
  • Red Wine for Dummies
  • White Wine for Dummies
  • Wine for Dummies

    Wine Encyclopedias and General Reference

  • Cote D'or: A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy
  • The Great Domaines of Burgundy: A Guide to the Finest Wine Producers of the Cote D'Or
  • Hugh Johnson's Modern Encyclopedia of Wine
  • Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine, 2001
  • Hugh Johnson's Wine Atlas of France
  • Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes
  • Larousse Encylopedia of Wine
  • The New Frank Schoonmaker Encyclopedia of Wine
  • The Oxford Companion to Wine
  • Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2001
  • Peynaud's The Taste of Wine

    Tasting Notes and Buying Guides

  • Bordeaux: A Comprehensive Guide to the Wines Produced from 1961-1990
  • Grands Vins: The Finest Chateaux of Bordeaux and Their Wines
  • The New Connoisseurs' Handbook of California Wines
  • The New Great Vintage Wine Book
  • Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide

    General Reading About Wine

  • Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France
  • Passions: The Wines And Travels Of Thomas Jefferson
  • Napa
  • Jancis Robinson's 'Tasting Pleasure: Confessions of a Wine Lover'

    Wine Making

  • The American Wine Society Presents Growing Wine Grapes
  • Grapes into Wine: A Guide to Winemaking in America
  • Knowing and Making Wine
  • From Vines to Wines; The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Grapes and Making Your Own Wine
  • The Vintner's Art/How Great Wines Are Made

  • Wine Book Reviews

    New listings!

    Oz Clarke Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2001, by Oz Clarke. Paperback, List: $13 -- Amazon.com Price: $11.70 -- You Save: $1.30 (10%)
    This good brief introduction and guide, competitive with Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia, will be familiar to anyone who owns the Microsoft Wine Guide on CD-ROM, which is a multimedia treatment of this excellent guide. Wine buffs argue endlessly over the relative merits of fellow Briton Johnson's and Clarke's approach. I say buy 'em both!

    Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine, 2001, by Hugh Johnson. Paperback. List: $13.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $12.55 -- You Save: $1.40 (10%)
    This small volume, literally pocket-size, packs an incredible amount of information into a remarkably small space. Thousands of wines are rated, described, and listed with coding indicating which vintages are preferred and which are ready to drink. This new 2001 edition will be available in November 2000. Indispensable!

    Introductions to Wine

    The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine, by Philip Seldon. Paperback, 352 pages. List: $16.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $13.56 -- You Save: $3.39 (20%)
    I have a hard time warming up to the marketing concept of addressing readers as "idiots" or "dummies," but in fairness, this introductory book does a good job of demystifying the world of wine. It's a good starting point for a new wine lover who wants a quick, digestible overview.

    Essential Wine Book The Essential Wine Book: An Indispensable Guide to the World of Wines, by Oz Clarke. Paperback, 320 pages. List: $21 -- Amazon.com Price: $16.80 -- You Save: $4.20 (20%)
    A bit more oriented to serious wine appreciation than the "dummies" books, this overview by a well-known British wine writer allows the novice to slip easily into wine appreciation, yet it's pitched at a high enough level that more experienced wine lovers will also find plenty to chew on here.

    Fear of Wine Fear of Wine: An Introductory Guide to the Grape, by Leslie Brenner, illustrated by Lettie Teague. Paperback, 310 pages. List: $11.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $9.56 -- You Save: $2.39 (20%)
    Similar in approach to the "dummies" books, this one brings a more adult approach without sliding into dullness or snobbery. Lightened by Teague's cartoons, it offers a noteworthy introduction to the wine hobby.

    Wine Course Jancis Robinson's Wine Course, by Jancis Robinson. Hardcover, 320 pages. Amazon.com Price: $35
    One of the most literate and informed of today's wine writers enters the increasingly competitive field of wine books for beginners with an entry that immediately leaps to the front of the pack. Highly recommended if you're just learning about wine ... or even if you're already an expert.

    Making Sense of Wine, by Matt Kramer. Paperback, 207 pages. List: $12 -- Amazon.com Price: $9.60 -- You Save: $2.40 (20%) The wine writer for the Portland Oregonian presents a truly intelligent introduction to wine, an excellent starting point for a novice who wants to ramp up his knowledge quickly and well, and a good read even for those who think they know it all.

    Wine for Dummies Red Wine for Dummies, by Ewing Ewing-Mulligan and Ed McCarthy. Paperback, 270 pages. List: $12.99 -- Amazon.com Price: $10.39 -- You Save: $2.60 (20%)
    White Wine for Dummies, by Mary Ewing-Mulligan and Ed McCarthy. Paperback, 282 pages. List: $12.99 -- Amazon.com Price: $10/39 -- You Save: $2.60 (20%)
    Wine for Dummies , by Ed McCarthy, Mary Ewing-Mulligan and Ewing Mulligan. Paperback, 402 pages. List: $16.99 -- Amazon.com Price: $13.49 -- You Save: $3.40 (20%)

    These introductory books, which don't significantly duplicate each other, cover considerable ground; I'd advise the newcomer to the wine hobby begin with the general book, then move to the "Red" and "White" editions, which cover a bit more detailed and advanced information. Despite the self-deprecating "dummies" concept, the authors present wine with just a whiff of snootiness hanging in the air. Still, there's ample content here, and it's presented in easily digestible form.

    Wine Encyclopedias and General Reference

    Cote D'or: A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy, by Clive Coates M.W. Hardcover, 1008 pages. List: $55.00 -- Amazon.com Price: $38.50 -- You Save: $16.50 (30%)
    This massive volume incorporates an old-line British wine expert's vast knowledge of Burgundy and its wines with a gigantic data bank of tasting notes. For those who can afford to drink Burgundy regularly in these times, Coates's book will be an indispensible investment; for the rest of us, reading it may be a bit like skimming a Tiffany's catalog and admiring all the beauties that we can't afford.

    The Great Domaines of Burgundy: A Guide to the Finest Wine Producers of the Cote D'Or by Remington Norman. List: $45 -- Amazon.com Price: $31.50 -- You Save: $13.50 (30%)
    Thorough and comprehensive, this magisterial encyclopedia is an essential reference for anyone who takes the great (and expensive) wines of Burgundy seriously.

    Hugh Johnson's Modern Encyclopedia of Wine, by Hugh Johnson. Hardcover, 576 pages. List: $35.00 -- Amazon.com Price: $24.50 -- You Save: $10.50 (30%)
    This major one-volume encyclopedia by the noted and prolific British wine writer Hugh Johnson covers the world of wine on a country-by-country basis rather than in traditional encyclopedic A-to-Z form. It's heavy on details of individual wineries, with more than 40,000 properties listed and briefly described.

    Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine, 2001, by Hugh Johnson. Paperback. List: $13.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $12.55 -- You Save: $1.40 (10%)
    This small volume, literally pocket-size, packs an incredible amount of information into a remarkably small space. Thousands of wines are rated, described, and listed with coding indicating which vintages are preferred and which are ready to drink. This new 2001 edition will be available in November 2000. Indispensable!

    The Wine Atlas of France and Traveller's Guide to the Vineyards, by Hugh Johnson. Hardcover. List: $40 -- Amazon.com Price: $28 -- You Save: $12 (30%)
    The mightily prolific Hugh Johnson is at his peak in his series of wine atlases from around the world; this one is a particularly thorough effort, bringing together colorful and precise topographical maps with clear descriptions of the regions and their wines. If you're planning a wine trip to France, you need this book. If you're staying home, you'll still enjoy traveling vicariously through its pages.

    Guide to Wine Grapes Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes, by Jancis Robinson. Hardcover. List: $13.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $9.76 -- You Save: $4.19 (30%)
    Successor to Robinson's large-format Vines, Grapes and Wines, this delightful little book sorts out the world of wine not geographically, as encyclopedias usually do, but on the basis of grapes. Chock full of information about grapes from the commonplace (Chardonnay) to the bizarre (Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso), this pocket-size book is a must for the wine-trivia lover or the serious wine fancier.

    Larousse Encylopedia of Wine, edited by Christopher Foulkes. Hardcover, 608 pages. List: $40 -- Amazon.com Price: $28 -- You Save: $12 (30%)
    As you'd expect of Larousse, this hefty tome has a decidedly French twist, carrying approximately 170 pages about the wines of France compared with a scanty 37 pages about all of the United States. But France remains arguably the center of the wine world, and this one contains just about everything you'd ever want to know about French wine and a fair amount about the rest of the world, too.

    The New Frank Schoonmaker Encyclopedia of Wine , by Frank Schoonmaker, revised by Alexis Bespaloff. Hardcover. List: $22.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $16.07 -- You Save: $6.88 (30%)
    I cut my own wine-loving teeth on an earlier edition of this excellent encyclopedia, literally reading it from cover to cover over a weekend when I was first excitedly discovering the wine hobby. Bespaloff's revision (and his editors) unfortunately took a lot of the guts out of the old book -- along with adding in much new information about New World wines -- but it's still a useful reference, arguably the one single-volume encyclopedia a wine lover ought to have if you can have only one.

    The Oxford Companion to Wine, edited by Jancis Robinson. Hardcover, 1088 pages. List: $60 -- Amazon.com Price: $42 -- You Save: $18 (30%)
    This huge volume will make your bookshelf sag in the middle, and you'll have a heck of a time reading it in bed. But if you're ready to move on to serious wine appreciation, it's a must-have, a truly magisterial volume that covers the world of wine in a thorough, accurate and readable fashion.

    Oz Clarke Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2001, by Oz Clarke. Paperback, List: $13 -- Amazon.com Price: $11.70 -- You Save: $1.30 (10%)
    This good brief introduction and guide, competitive with Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia, will be familiar to anyone who owns the Microsoft Wine Guide on CD-ROM, which is a multimedia treatment of this excellent guide. Wine buffs argue endlessly over the relative merits of fellow Briton Johnson's and Clarke's approach. I say buy 'em both!

    The Taste of Wine: The Art and Science of Wine Appreciation, by Emile Peynaud and Jacques Blouin; Michael Schuster, translator. Hardcover, 346 pages. List: $54.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $54.95 -- (no discount)
    This is the ultimate advanced guide to serious, analytical wine tasting. Long available in French, it has only recently become easily accessible to Anglophones in this volume. While newcomers to the world of wine may want to put this one off for a while, it's a must-have for your "graduate degree" in wine appreciation.

    Tasting Notes and Buying Guides

    Bordeaux: A Comprehensive Guide to the Wines Produced from 1961-1990, by Robert M. Parker Jr. Hardcover, 1026 pages. List: $40 -- Amazon.com Price: $28 -- You Save: $12 (30%)
    Love Parker or bash Parker, just about every American wine lover pays attention to what he says. We have to ... his ratings make the market move as the wines he rates fly off the shelves. This revised version of his Bordeaux offers concise summaries of the major chateaux and his ratings of the wines they produce.

    Grands Vins: The Finest Chateaux of Bordeaux and Their Wines, by Clive Coates. Hardcover, 816 pages. List: $55 -- Amazon.com Price: $38.50 -- You Save: $16.50 (30%)
    Picking up where Parker's book (above) leaves off, this thorough if narrowly focused study by a major British wine critic covers the ground with thoroughness and dedicated skill. Not for beginners, it's a requirement if you're getting seriously into collecting Bordeaux.

    Connoisseurs' Handbook The New Connoisseurs' Handbook of California Wines , by Charles E. Olken, Charles Elliott and Norman S. Roby. Hardcover. List: $27.50 -- Amazon.com Price: $19.25 -- You Save: $8.25 (30%)
    Performing for California wines the service that Johnson's and Clarke's pocket guides do for the wines of the world, this guide has become an institution. The current volume lists more than 800 wineries, with detailed information and tasting notes on the wines of each.

    The New Great Vintage Wine Book, by Michael Broadbent. Hardcover, 455 pages. List: $45 -- Amazon.com Price: $31.50 -- You Save: $13.50 (30%) Tasting notes. That's what this is. One huge book filled from cover to cover with thousands of tasting notes on wonderful old wines that most of us will never get to enjoy. If you really like reading about wine, though, you can spend hours browsing through this volume vicariously tasting with Broadbent. And if you're a collector, you'll find his observations indispensible.

    Parker's Buyer's Guide Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide (paperback), and Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide (hardcover), by Robert M. Parker Jr. List (paperback): $25 -- Amazon.com Price: $20 -- You Save: $5 (20%); (hardcover): List: $45 -- Amazon.com Price: $31.50 -- You Save: $13.50 (30%)
    Read what I said above: "Love Parker or bash Parker, just about every American wine lover pays attention to what he says. We have to ... his ratings make the market move as the wines he rates fly off the shelves." These guides incorporate hundreds of his tasting reports from his Wine Advocate. Although the realities of book publishing mean that some of the wines are gone from the market before the Buyer's Guide reaches the shelves, if you follow Parker or intend to buy the wines he reviews, this volume is an important tool.

    General Reading About Wine

    Kermit Lynch Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France, by Kermit Lynch, Gail Skoff (Photographer). Paperback Reprint edition. List: $14 -- Amazon.com Price: $11.20 -- You Save: $2.80 (20%).
    Well-told and informative, this is the first-person story of wine importer Kermit Lynch's travels through France looking for wines he likes enough to want to sell. Lynch has both an excellent palate and a writer's flair for story-telling, making this book a great read. If it's a little self-promotional, that's understandable; after all, the guy sells wine.

    Jefferson book Passions: The Wines And Travels Of Thomas Jefferson, by James Gabler. Hardcover. List: $29.95 - Amazon.com price $20.97 - You save: $8.98 (30%).
    This thorough yet readable volume places Jefferson in context as statesman, Renaissance man, and wine lover. A must-read if you enjoy the history of wine. For more information about the book and about Jefferson, see Jefferson and Wine, notes on a dinner speech.

    Napa, by James Conaway. Paperback. List: $13.50 -- Amazon.com Price: $10.80 -- You Save: $2.70 (20%)
    The author, a free-lance wine writer not widely regarded as a heavyweight, has done a National Enquirer treatment of Napa and its leading wine personalities, reprinting a lot of rumors, quoting a lot of unnamed sources. Never mind. It's a helluva read. Just don't take it too seriously.

    Wine Course Tasting Pleasure: Confessions of a Wine Lover, by Jancis Robinson. Hardcover, 320 pages. List: $24.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $17.47 -- You Save: $7.48 (30%)
    Whether you know Jancis Robinson from her many books, her television series on wine appreciation, or her frequent columns in The Wine Spectator and other publications, the chances are that you think of her fondly. Virtually alone among high-profile wine writers, she's universally loved and admired. Now, amid a bit of controversy over whether it's seemly for a wine writer in the prime of her life to publish what amounts to a biography or memoir, she presents us with this charming volume. Reading this book is a lot like sitting in a cozy pub with a bottle open and wine-loving friends around, listening to Jancis tell great stories about her life in the wine business. I enjoyed reading the book, and felt sorry when it was over.

    Wine Making

    The American Wine Society Presents Growing Wine Grapes, by J. Loenholdt, T. Zabadal, A. Hunt, H. Amberg, J. R. McGrew, Randall J. Reichwage (Editor), Leonholdt Hunt (Contributor). List: $10.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $8.76 -- You Save: $2.19 (20%)
    A national organization that brings together hobby and professional vine growers and wine makers, The American Wine Society has chapters in every state.

    Grapes into Wine: A Guide to Winemaking in America, by Philip M. Wagner. Paperback, 302 pages. List: $18 -- Amazon.com Price: $14.40 -- You Save: $3.60 (20%)
    The January 1997 death of Philip Wagner was a loss to American wine makers and wine lovers, but his book lives on. Whether you have a hankering to make your own wine or simply want a clear, concise overview of how wine grapes are grown and wine is made, this volume is the classic.

    Knowing and Making Wine, by Emile Peynaud. Hardcover, 391 pages. List: $64.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $64.95 (no discount).
    Far more "scientific" than Wagner's book, this classic by French oenologist Peynaud is dense and intellectual, chock full of charts and detailed descriptions of the chemical reactions that go into the making and aging of wine. Another book that's intended primarily for the serious, advanced wine fancier (or wine maker), it's rightly regarded as a classic.

    From Vines to Wines; The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Grapes and Making Your Own Wine, by Jeff Cox, Sarah M. Clarkson (Editor). Paperback - 288 pages. List: $14.95 -- Amazon.com Price: $11.96 -- You Save: $2.99 (20%)
    This volume -- unfortunately sometimes back-ordered -- is a worthy companion to Wagner's book. Published in 1989, it immediately became a favorite of hobby wine makers.

    The Vintner's Art/How Great Wines Are Made, by James Halliday and Hugh Johnson. Hardcover, 232 pages. List: $40 -- Amazon.com Price: $28 -- You Save: $12 (30%)
    This one's more like a coffee-table book, but a very good one indeed, in largish format with glossy paper, excellent color photography, and Johnson's workmanlike prose as he interviews some of the greatest wine makers around the world.